Government

State revenues down in first two months

September 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State revenues in July and August decreased by more than $200 million compared with the same period a year ago, and are about $50 million less the budget had projected. Budget Director Lee Roberts says its too early in the fiscal year to predict revenues over the full year, noting that July and August are historically two of the slowest months for tax receipts. 

Decker embarks on overseas trade mission as state incentive fund dwindles

September 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker heads to Japan this week on a jobs-recruitment mission, days after Gov. Pat McCrory said he will not reconvene the state legislature to expand the state's economic-development incentives. McCrory said he would consider calling a special session if a major job-recruitment effort develops.

DHHS secretary says agency must rebuild before expanding Medicaid

September 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Dr. Aldona Wos, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, says the crippled agency − which has not undergone a restructuring in more than 40 years despite changes in the health-care industry − is focused on rebuilding its foundation and creating stability.

UNC board to review research centers

September 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The UNC Board of Governors is reviewing more than 200 research institutes and policy centers at public universities across the state. A seven-member board will begin the review, which will assess whether the institutes are unbiased and fit with the schools' missions. 

Former Congress members present ideas to end political gridlock

September 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Two former members of Congress spoke in Charlotte about ways to fix the nation's political process, including placing limits on filibusters, holding open primaries and increasing citizen involvement. Former Sen. Olympia Snowe and former Rep. Dan Glickman are among five co-chairs of a bi-partisan commission tasked with developing reforms for America's political divide. 

High Point mayor resigns, pleads guilty to worthless check charge

September 11, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

High Point Mayor Bernita Sims resigned Wednesday and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of writing a worthless check. A Guilford County Superior Court judge sentenced Sims to six months house arrest and 4 and a half years of supervised probation.

Coal-ash bill to become law without McCrory's signature

September 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory will allow the coal-ash bill approved by the state General Assembly to become law effective Sept. 19 without his endorsement. McCrory says the bill undermines the authority of the executive branch by giving the legislature six of nine appointments to an oversight commission.

Hagan declines invitiation to third U.S. Senate debate

September 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Sen. Kay Hagan has declined to participate in an Oct. 21 debate sponsored by Time Warner Cable News, The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer. A spokeswoman from Hagan's campaign said she will participate in the second televised U.S. Senate debate, scheduled for Oct. 7.

Speedway Motorsports case heads to NC Supreme Court

September 9, 2014

(Independent Tribune, Concord)

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday by Speedway Motorsports, which wants to sue Cabarrus County over $80 million in tax breaks company president Bruton Smith says he needs to help build a drag strip and make additional upgrades to Charlotte Motor Speedway (cover story, August 2013).

Art Pope named to most powerful billionaires list

September 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Former state budget director Art Pope is ranked No. 15 on a list of the country's top billionaires who wield the most political influence. Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries tied for first place on the list, compiled by Darrell M. West. West is the author of an upcoming Brookings Institution Press book titled "Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust."